How social media catches photographers in the value gap

BAPLA ValueGap Key Issues

How social media catches photographers in the value gapWe all love using social media to spread our message.  And that message is all the more powerful when it is visual. But if you’re a photographer or if you represent photographers, the social media platforms are not doing enough to protect your rights.

This new infographic from BAPLA shows how social media platforms make it hard for professional image-makers to control their images and their right to earn an income.

Weaknesses around enforcement, framing and the hosting defence combine to pose threats to photographers’ livelihoods:

  • A lack of enforcement means there are no checks that the person uploading actually controls the rights in the images.  The platform may actually strip out any metadata that tracks ownership in the image.
  • Social media platforms’ terms of service typically allow sublicensing of content uploaded.  That sublicensing might include commercial websites and blogs “framing” images  from a platform, i.e. linking to the platform in a way that the image is viewed as if it were actually embedded on the end site.
  • While users are encouraged to share content widely, if any unauthorised uses are discovered, the platforms avoid responsibility with the defence that they are only hosting the shared content.

The end result: photographers may find their work used, without their approval or even their knowledge, for the sort of commercial purposes for which they would normally expect to receive the compensation that allows them to make a living and go on creating new imagery.

#valuegap  #enforcement #framing